60th Anniversary of US-Cambodia Diplomacy

By Chhay Raksmey (UC Student)

The relation between Cambodia and the US was established in 1950. Up to today, it has been 60 years. Therefore, on 21-22 July, 2010, the US embassy in Phnom Penh organized a conference to celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Many ambassadors were in attendance, including H.E. Ambassador Carol Rodley, the US Ambassador to Cambodia, H.E. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister, H.R.H. Samdech Norodom Sirivudh, Supreme Privacy Councilor to His Majesty the King of Cambodia and Founder Chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, in addition to former US Ambassadors, Kent Wiedemann, Charles Ray, and Joseph Mussomeli. Scholars like David Chandler were present, and UC representatives attended the event.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Rodley expressed her view on the relations between these two countries, and strongly hopes that Cambodia and the US can continue maintaining good relations with one another. After her remarks, H.E. Sok An, in the keynote address, gave a brief history about the diplomatic relations since 1950. He also spoke about how the US has provided ample aid to Cambodia, over the course of these 60 years, with regard to infrastructure development, military assistance, health care, and education, to name a few. He expressed his deep appreciation, and hopes that the United States will continue to maintain a strong presence in Cambodia, and encourages more Americans to invest in the country.

On the second day, members of the panel talked about Cambodia’s future with respect to development and diplomatic ties with the US. The general sentiment was that Cambodia is poised for strong growth and development, and has the political will to continue moving in a positive direction.
The floor opened up for questions and answers from the audience. Many youngsters eagerly participated, and they appeared to learn so many new things during this very important gathering. Overall, the conference painted a colorful picture of the Cambodia-US diplomatic relations, and that relationship will only get stronger with time.

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